Secretary of State Michael Adams critical of governor’s line-item veto

Michael Adams

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Republican Secretary of State Michael Adams on Monday was highly critical of Democratic Governor Andy Beshear’s line-item veto of emergency election legislation.

“In his inaugural speech, Governor Beshear said ‘we have to begin looking at each as teammates, as fellow Kentuckians, not as Republicans and Democrats.’  However, when Governor Beshear had an opportunity to live into his own words, he instead forcibly removed his Republican teammate – who by law is the chief elections official – from the process of approving new procedures for an election in a state of emergency,” Adams said.

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“While I’m working to save this election, the governor is playing partisan games.  Assuming the governor even can line-item veto this bill, I call on the General Assembly to override this unfortunate act,” said Adams.

The measure Governor Beshear vetoed, House Bill 351, includes language giving the governor and secretary of state the ability to jointly alter the “manner,” not just the time and place of an election.  The legislation provides for the governor and secretary of state to approve the technical election procedures ultimately established by the State Board of Elections.

Kentucky’s May Primary has already been moved to June due to the coronavirus outbreak.  Most expect the June Primary to be conducted by mail-in ballot, due to the virus.  Secretary Adams moved the Primary to the latest possible date in June allowed by law.

“Rather than building a bipartisan ‘Team Kentucky,’ the governor has misused his power to keep a Republican – the chief elections official and a seasoned election professional – from participation on the team.  Even Democratic legislators agree that the process of developing new election rules should be bipartisan, and include the chief elections official.  Clearly, there’s a reason the ‘Team Kentucky’ logo is blue,” said Adams.

The General Assembly will reconvene for its last days of the 2020 legislative session Tuesday, April 14 and Wednesday, April 15.

During these two days, the House and Senate chambers will consider any remaining bills as well as overrides for any legislation recently vetoed by Governor Beshear.

The legislature must wrap up the session by midnight on Wednesday.

Governor Beshear must make decisions on the budget and revenue bills by midnight tonight (Monday, April 13).  Veto overrides require a simple majority in each chamber.



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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at You can also follow Tom on Facebook and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.